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AEP Requesting $28M in Distribution Cost Recovery

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WESLACO – AEP Texas is asking the state’s public utility commission to increase their distribution rates. This means people across the Rio Grande Valley could soon pay more for electricity.

AEP Texas filed a distribution cost recovery factor with the Texas Public Utility Commission. This would allow the company to get back money they spent on their electric distribution infrastructure.

The amount the company is requesting from the Rio Grande Valley is $28 million.

If they commission approves such request, that money could mean higher bills for consumers. AEP said bills could go up by more than $1 per 1,000 kilowatt-hours.

But cities across the Valley are standing up to AEP by filing resolutions against the rate hike. Harlingen assistant manager Gabriel Gonzalez said the city voted against the rate Wednesday night.

“We just want to make sure that they’re fair and that they are needed. That’s why we passed this resolution denying their request. That’s not to say that there’s not going to be an increase, but we just want to make sure that the rates they pass on to the consumers are actually needed,” he said.

This is the second straight year AEP has filed distribution cost recovery factor paperwork with the commission. Last year’s rates did increase.

Gonzalez said he and other leaders are just looking out for the future of consumers.

“We want to make sure that those that are burdened with utility costs right now pay only their fair share,” he said.

Cities across Texas will work with a consultant and an attorney to determine if $28 million is a fair amount for AEP to request.

If approved, consumers will start to pay about an extra $1.09 per 1,000 kWh starting this fall.

Additionally, cities like Harlingen are filing resolutions to voice their disapproval of the distribution rate hike. Some cities have already filed while others are preparing to file.

Anyone wanting to voice their opinion can reach out to their city or the Texas Public Utility Commission. 

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